Jonathan Ross Natal play video released, lag pegged at “a tenth of a second”

Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 06:55 GMT By Patrick Garratt


As some of you eagle-eyed Twitter-watchers will have noticed yesterday, Jonathan Ross has been playing with Natal. Watch him in action after the break.

Ross was playing a demo set up by Microsoft in London, confirming it wasn’t at his house as some thought.

The movie, posted by the UK celeb’s son on YouTube, shows “dad” leaping around trying to play the E3 balls demo. It’s all a bit elephant-like.

The clue to why may be found in this MTV piece. The author has just played through what looks to be a long sessions with the device, and made a point of timing its lag.

“I had a pretty large sample size, sitting through 5 demos, capturing about 40 different movements from a variety of journalists,” he said. “Across those 40 movements, the fastest life-to-screen transition was .08 seconds, while the slowest was .12 seconds. A tenth of a second was the consistent average, though.

“What that means is that, in its current state, Natal is not instant, one-to-one motion capture.”

There’s a note on the Ross video saying Microsoft assured the family lag issues would be fixed in time for launch.

Imagine us looking at you over the top of half-rim glasses.

Natal ships, super-cheap, at the end of this year.



  1. Dannybuoy

    That lag sounds horrible

    #1 5 years ago
  2. mojo

    the lag LOOKS horrible. Watch the vid. They still have to work on that alot.
    headaching memories of shooters played on a insufficient rig come up when looking at the video..

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Redh3lix

    “They say by release all lag issues will be resolved”

    Let’s hope “They” are correct.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    Motion controls… Oh god… I always wanted to do that in front of my TV.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Joe Anderson (wotta)

    Im not a fan of the wii and to be honest this doesnt look any different.

    I mean you are still waggling about in front of a tv without a proper controller and call me old fashion but I enjoy relaxing on the couch playing my games with a controller.

    I really can’t see this thing selling 10 million units at the moment, not when everyone already has a Wii. But I will wait until I get to test it myself before I completely disregard it.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. NiceFellow

    It’ll probably sell well, it’ll be hugely pushed. But I’m really not loving Natal for gaming. It always looks plain silly, leaping around, or features tech demos of using it as an inferior input method for driving games and the like.

    Unless it proves to be a superior input device – i.e. it enhances the game – them I’m not interested.

    The Wiimote works very well, Sony’s Arc looks to be in the middle with controls with camera but this just looks a step way to far in the wrong direction.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. ninjanutta2

    um!It looks really bad to be honest.Its that,lets go buy it and never play it kind of gimmicky thing again.Havent wii been here already?????????

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Blerk

    Wow, that looks…. not much fun!

    #8 5 years ago
  9. mington

    oh dear, towards the end of the video when Mr Ross gets a bit hyperactive his on screen avatar just ties itself into a knot.

    i read this article yesterday about the uncanny valley of motion controls, interesting read

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Keivz

    0.1 secs doesn’t sound so bad to me. It looked pretty responsive in the video, too.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Gekidami

    …No, no it didnt. The lag is extremely noticable in that video.
    I’m abit confused as to how this can look so responsive at E3 yet later down the line look near unplayable.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Progguitarist

    Looks horrendous.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Robo_1

    I can understand why MS is using that game to demonstrate NATAL, as it’s a real showcase for how to use your entire body as a controller, but whilst it’s great for highlighting the potential of NATAL, it’s also a game which would be be completely unworkable in 95 percent of homes. In Japan in particular, the idea of having that much space in the living room to jump around in front of a camera is farcical.

    I’m very keen to see what sort of software they’ll be showing for it at E3, and if any of it makes good use of the tech without the need for a barn sized space to do it in.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. DrDamn

    They removed the processor from the system to keep costs down didn’t they?

    Yeah I noticed the avatar funkiness at about 29 seconds too. “You want to see the bottom of his shoe? BAAMMM! There it is!” :)

    All that said what interests me most about Natal is working in conjunction with a control whilst you are sat on your couch. Head tracking for example. The removal of the processor does worry me that this may not be so common though.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. aprotosis

    Anyone ever just try to click a stopwatch real fast? The body’s lag is about 0.15 seconds and that is without attempting to trigger on some kind of visual cue. On the video it appeared that at first there was some pretty lag free seeming action, but towards the scrunch up and beyond it got worse. They need to get the lag down to at least 33 milliseconds to operate with no visible lag at 30fps.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. Dralen

    Haha!! That was so funny to watch. Jonathan…you never dissapoint.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Gheritt White



    #17 5 years ago
  18. NoxNoctisUmbra

    LAG? Shit.. its ganna be a waist.. it will be like crappy WII mote when it first camet. Look at ARC, it’s scale 1 to 1 at first time they show it up, and they still delay it to make it even more efficient and polished up.. As well RE5 will be suported.. Try that with NATAL that takes 15% of 360 power.. NATAL is lame.. OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE.

    #18 5 years ago

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